By Talya Adams
About two weeks ago, I made a stupid mistake while riding. It could have been much worse than it was, but because I remained calm I was able to get out of the situation without getting into an accident. A clear mind and a cool demeanor are two traits all riders should attempt to maintain while driving in Los Angeles.
The incident happened a little after ten o’clock at night. I was on my way home from work, and I was on the US 101. On this particular night, it seemed like traffic was flowing pretty freely. I’ve found whenever there’s a bit of breathing room on the freeway, drivers like to speed up and push the limits. At times it can feel like you’re on a NASCAR track.
It was this kind of a night for sure. In these instances, I like to stay aware of my surroundings, and I regularly check my side mirrors to make sure there are no cars sneaking up on me too fast.
I was maybe a mile or two from my exit when traffic slowed down significantly on the freeway. Around the Hollywood area, traffic tends slow down, then usually crawl a little as you pass the Koreatown exits. This is the case even at night. So, I was expecting this shift in speed, however, many of the cars around me were not and began slamming on their brakes and switching lanes.
Since I was in the far-left lane and needed to get over, I checked my side mirror and discovered a motorcyclist speeding up behind me splitting lanes. I waved at him to pass me as I would be looking to get over and not split like him. Immediately after he passed, I noticed my engine losing power.
I didn’t know what was happening, but I stay calm and pushed the start button a couple times. With cars still speeding around me and catching up, I veered into the shoulder to my left as my bike was still rolling. I then noticed I’d accidently hit the kill switch after I waved the rider to pass me. So, I flipped it back to on and then fired up my engine. It started right away without any problems.
Of course, I felt really stupid for doing this, but I was also proud of myself for not freaking out and making matters worse. It’s easy to panic and overreact in stressful situations, but keeping clams is always best for motorcyclists.
Stay safe in these streets!